About a month ago, I agreed to cat-sit my parents lovely, fluffy gray cat Willow while they were in Louisiana visiting my little sister. There were perks. A huge house all to myself for two days, plenty of bottles of wine in the basement, permission to ‘throw a party’ Saturday night, and for all this, I would get paid. All I had to do was let the cat in and out of the house during the day, make sure she was inside at night, and keep her fed and watered. Couldn’t ask for a better set-up!

The bad news was, I had to close the store the Friday night before, and Birmingham is a two-hour drive away. I made it to my house after midnight sometime. Read and wrote for too long, fell asleep around 2 am, woke up at 6:30, packed and headed out the door because, oh, there was one other draw back to the situation – I had to be in Birmingham by 9 to let the cat out because she’d spent the entire day before cooped up inside. For that, I got a cash bonus. Of course I would sacrifice sleep for cash. So I got in my pathetic little car at 7am, freezing my…umm…nose? off, feeling perhaps more physically uncomfortable than I’ve felt in some time, and drove for two hours.

My activities for the day consisted of boring things no one cares to hear about, letting the cat in and out of the house, watching a football game and taking a nap. That night, Dear and Funky friends came over to my parents’ house for pizza and beer, which actually started as pizza and a bottle and a half of wine, then beer, and for me, more beer, to top off the margarita wine cooler I’d had before the girls had even arrived. Knowing as you do from a previous post, I have a very low tolerance for alcohol and sometimes I get carried away.

Also, alcohol has this uncanny ability to make one need to pee. Obviously, I ended up on the toilet. With my phone. Drunk.

Anyone who knows me also knows I am highly ungraceful, and that’s when I’m sober. When I’ve had too much, I’m a walking disaster. Needless to say, my phone ended up in the toilet.

Have I mentioned that I just purchased this phone the day before? Right. I’d just purchased the phone the day before. And it was in the toilet. Effing hell.

Funky friend offered some sage advice. A bag of uncooked rice. Otherwise, she and Dear Friend just made fun of me. I, however, was inconsolable. My phone! My life-line! I do not do well without it. I had to have a replacement. Immediately. I was no longer a happy silly drunk, I was a belligerent and devastated drunk no one wanted to be around. Funky Friend excused herself shortly thereafter. As I was letting her out the door, out also went Willow. You know, the cat who wasn’t supposed to go outside after dark? Yeah. That one.

Gah.

Obviously the only solution was to run around the wet yard in my sock feet screaming after little Willow in the hopes that she would for some reason come back to me. The raving lunatic. Cats just love raving lunatics running around in wet socks. Of course, she ran.

As frustrated as I was by Willow getting away, I had more important things to deal with after Funky’s departure. I  needed another phone. Stat.

The continuing problem was that I was drunk and could not drive. The solution: Dear Friend is also Perfectly Responsible Friend and had consumed far, far less alcohol than I had, and nothing in the last hour of our gathering.

I didn’t have to do much begging before I was in her SUV’s passenger seat being chauffeured to the nearest Wal-Mart.

Which was closed.

Wal-Marts CLOSE?!?!? Who knew.

Anyway, there is another Wal-Mart not far down the road and Dear Friend is quite dear, so she drove me to that one. Where I drunkenly questioned the only electronics worker on duty after midnight on a  Saturday night. He was unhelpful. Apparently some Wal-Marts close and not all Wal-Marts carry the same product. I’d purchased my phone the day before at the Wal-Mart where I live.

Blast and bother.

Dear Friend drove a sullen LizHarrell back to her parents’ home, then left. LizHarrell stood out in the cold and called for Willow for two solid minutes on both the front and back porches. LizHarrell was ignored, or was else the cat was incapable of hearing from the gut of a coyote.

I then got on AIM with Dear Friend who volunteered her spare cell phone. By this time, I was so sober it wasn’t even funny, so I drove over to her house, got the spare phone, and drove back to my parents’.

Called for Willow again.

She ignored me, again.

Quietly, I made up a little bed on the sofa between the front and back doors. I had a cell phone again, and had high hopes for the bag of uncooked rice restoring my brand new phone to its brand new state. But I had failed at my only charge for the weekend. Willow was out in the freezing night, being pursued by large scary animals, and I was to blame.

I huddled into a ball on the sofa and waited with as much optimism as I could muster for Willow to return home. I fell asleep.

And at 7am, Willow came prancing up to the back door as if nothing at all was wrong. Apparently the rule about her staying inside at night was unnecessary. As was my night on the sofa.

As always (knock on wood), I avoided a hangover. My parents returned home to a clean home and were not too annoyed by the missing alcohol. I never told them about the phone… but it didn’t matter. The bag of rice actually worked!

As it turns out, not all mistakes are irreversible or disastrous. Cats come home and phones dry out. Knowing that certain mistakes can be undone is really very comforting. If only it were always so easy as a night on the sofa and a bag of uncooked rice!

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Well, the obvious answer here is, roll down the windows. But let’s throw in a few complications just for fun.

  • It is July.
  • You are in Alabama.
  • Your car has been baking in the sun all day long.
  • It’s 5:00 and just as hot as any other part of the day.
  • Your hair is pulled up in a complicated and un-duplicatable manner.
  • You are wearing a pencil skirt that constrains lower limb movement.
  • You are wearing a blouse with a tank top underneath.
  • One of your four windows doesn’t function.
  • You are driving for an hour in the blazing heat to meet your family for dinner at a lakefront restaurant.
  • You are running late.
  • You have to pump gas.
  • Your GPS is taking you around the world and down roads that have been closed for months.
  • Your vehicle starts to shake wildly upon hitting 60 mph, so wind speed is less than ideal (especially with the windows only open a couple of inches so your hair stays in tact).
  • Your sun glasses are causing your cheeks to sweat.
  • Even in the OFF position, your air conditioning vents blow HOT air.

I think that’s enough complication to make the whole scenario entirely unique and therefore rendering a post on how to survive said scenario completely useless. However, I will describe my various attempts to decrease the ambient temperature in my car from 115 degrees to 100.

  • Obviously, my windows were down about two or three inches. Well, all of my windows that function were, anyway.
  • Heels were kicked off. Smell be damned, my feet needed to breathe.
  • Skirt was  hitched up to almost inappropriate heights, left leg was propped on the door frame, promoting some vague sense of ventilation.
  • One elbow rested on the center console, the other on the window sill.
  • I leaned as far forward as I could manage so my back wouldn’t be soaking by the time I arrived at my destination.
  • Also the leaning forward let me roll the windows down a fraction more, as my hair was no longer being blown about.
  • Sun glasses were quickly abandoned, sun visor rendered absolutely essential.
  • I closed the air vents, hoping that my car wouldn’t overheat, because I was certainly on the verge of doing so myself.
  • Music turned up to ear-splitting levels, I bellowed along to many bad pop songs to distract myself.
  • Speeding helps make things go faster. Obviously. Turning off the GPS and throwing it out the window might have helped things along too, but I was unwilling to part with the poor thing. We’ve been through so much together…

Basically, I made it. I looked a little disgusting upon arrival at the restaurant, but what is family for, if not to tell you that you look classy and thinner regardless of your slightly-stinky-wrinkled-clothing-windblown-mop-of-hair-more-damp-than-dry true appearance?

I swear things keep happening to me on Wednesdays. And Thursdays. And Saturdays…oh. Right. Things just keep happening.

Today I left work thinking I had a ready-made post in hand. As predicted, my life got all weird again in short order when I made the (probably) unwise decision to make an appointment to give blood at the blood drive at the student center during my lunch break. I arrived for the appointment two minutes early and was told they’d had an unforeseeable and unfixable delay and I’d probably have to wait half an hour before giving blood. Fine. I’d just clocked out and had 50 minutes left to donate to this cause. Because I hadn’t had time to eat before my appointment, I figured I’d just have a little lunch post-donation. This plan was tossed out the window 45 minutes later when I was just being called back to be questioned rigorously regarding my traveling, tattoos, and sexual adventures (such as they may be). Obviously, this was going to require more than my hour-long lunch break, but, having checked in with The Boss and gotten the go-ahead, I decided to plow on through.

Please note: I’ve done this before. Many, many times. It has been awhile, however, and I’m pretty sure I’ve never donated blood on an empty stomach. This, my friends, is an awful idea. At the very least I should have had about a gallon of water beforehand to puff up my veins, because they were apparently near-impossible to locate (and I remember so vividly the ease with which my veins were usually located and punctured in past experiences). Also, I never watch this part. It usually doesn’t hurt too badly and I’m not generally tempted to look over and see what’s going on. But once she started digging and wiggling, I couldn’t help myself. I looked. Ladies and Gents, this is a huge needle. I’m known for my exaggerations, but I was literally shocked by the size of the metal tube protruding from my arm. This definitely started me down the path to faintness.

Almost immediately, I got light headed. (PS, Sista Friend, you might want to stop reading – you’ll probably fall out just reading about this) I power through as I’ve recently powered through a MUCH WORSE situation involving one (ONE!) mojito and an empty stomach. I was determined I wasn’t passing out. Jeez, a dude passed out while I was waiting and I was making fun of him so hard in my head. I wasn’t going to let that happen to me.

Anyway, they saw I looked pretty crappy (I’m sure) and made me lie down. At which point, I stopped bleeding. For reals, folks. Ginormous needle in my vein and the well was dry. More digging, by multiple phlebotomists. A few minutes did the trick, briefly. Then, dry as a bone again. More nurses, more needle wiggling. Un. Fun.

By the time they finally pulled the darned needle out of my arm, it was nearly two hours after my lunch break began. I hadn’t had lunch and I didn’t have time to pass out. I had to get back to my desk.

So, probably right on the verge of keeling over, I hauled myself, my extremely heavy purse and my uneaten lunch back to my building, and probably made a fool out of myself for the next hour or two.

I thought that would be the end of my adventures for the day. Honestly, a two-hour lunch break in which I didn’t even eat lunch was enough for one day. But my day got even more fun when I was pulling out of the parking lot and, followed by Comical Colleague (you may remember him from his first appearance, here, grimacing at my lunch choices) in his own vehicle. Apparently blood flow to my brain was still a little low because I really nailed the curb when I turned the corner. ComiColl, true to form, made fun of me through my rearview mirror. Then I drove away and didn’t think of it again.

Until I was getting close to home and my car started making some very unfortunate noises and slowed down. Realizing I had a flat tire, I pulled over (in what amounted to about three feet from the middle of a fairly busy road, by Opelika’s standards) and turned on the hazards. Surveyed the damage. Large tear in tire. Thank God I had a spare, but I’m not sure who to thank for the lack of a jack. Also, it was sprinkling. And muggy. And I was wearing wool pants.

Anyway, Hubby, as  you know, is out of town. Hubby’s friend in town didn’t pick up the phone and I really need to get some co-workers’ cell phone numbers because I was pretty sure I was going to have to obtain some superhuman strength, lift the car off the ground, unscrew the flat tire, attach the spare, and drive away without ruining my clothes or passing out from lack of food/blood.

Fortunately I was rescued by a rather disgusting looking mechanic (I tell you, the mechanics of the world love me. Mechanics and Truckers. Who knows why.) who had two jacks in his car and managed to, after half an hour, solve my problems. All I had to do was watch and say thank you.

So, now I have to skip lunch on Friday to make up for my two-hour long lunch today (so I can lunch with another co-worker tomorrow, soon to be renamed for this forum) and find time between now and Friday afternoon to get my tire repaired or replaced and then drive two hours to Birmingham to spend the holiday weekend with my Hubby whom I miss very much.

Somehow my brain held out as I spent the last three hours typing this up and stuffed my face with leftover pie and a Lean Pocket. Still feeling peakish. Fingers and lips are tingling like I’ve had a bit too much to drink.

Time for ‘The End,’ I think 🙂

I promise I am trying. REALLY trying. It’s just that I want to sort of quit. Immediately. Here’s a brief run-down of my glorious failures:

  • Hubby’s car is broken. Part of my task-list involved following him around in my car in attempt to find a car repair shop that was 1) open on Saturday and 2) even capable of repairing a transmission. We found not one such repair place. Finally, we took the darn thing to a dealership this morning, only to find that the necessary repairs would cost more than the car is even worth. Blurgh.
  • My house is not as revolting as some I’ve seen on TV, so that’s a plus. But trying to clean it on my own without the help of a lovely TV crew is a minus. In a big way. I REALLY cleaned 2 rooms on Sunday – the laundry room and the kitchen. The laundry room is only accessible by leaving the main house and has a cement floor. Our German shepherd sleeps there and he’s a big mess most of the time. Thus, the laundry room required bleach and hose. I shudder at the memory of this 1.5 hour long adventure.
  • My work had to be put on hold to deal with Hubby’s car. We are NOT a one car family. It just doesn’t work with me traveling. Fortunately I didn’t have any appointments scheduled for today, so it could have been worse. But still, not the best start to my grown up work ethic.

But there have been some wins in the past couple of days. My sink is seriously the most beautiful I have ever seen it. It only took two hours and a moderate amount of elbow grease. In general, my kitchen looks fantastic, which is a great feeling. And my laundry room smells great, which is a feat in and of itself. Yay! Stay tuned for more!